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UK minister calls for tough international action on obesity, smoking and cancer

 

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UK minister calls for tough international action on obesity, smoking and cancer

In a speech at the United Nations, health secretary Andrew Lansley has called for governments across the world to work collectively to tackle the rising tide of lifestyle-related diseases.

Addressing members of the United Nations General Assembly, which had convened to discuss the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, he set out that international action is needed to make real progress against cancer, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes through collective international action to curb tobacco consumption and reduce alcohol abuse.

Just as previous worldwide efforts have saved millions of lives through programmes to eradicate communicable diseases such as smallpox and polio, Andrew Lansley told the meeting that the current generation’s greatest health challenges stem from the causes of ill-health, such as poor diet and environments, lack of exercise and changing lifestyles.  Key to change must be tackling the causes of health inequalities. He called for a “whole government” approach and for a determination to tackle the social determinants of health, and a focus on prevention of the risk factors leading to non-communicable diseases. More …..